Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute declared conservative Felipe Calderon the winner of the presidential election Thursday, but a protest is planned Saturday. Experts discuss the country's next steps.
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Election officials in Mexico worked overnight, recounting Sunday's poll numbers, as supporters of the two candidates hoped their vigilance might sway the count their way. Citizens woke to the news that at last there may be a victor.
FELIPE CALDERON, Mexican Presidential Candidate (through translator): What I can tell you is that, at this hour of the morning, the National Action Party is ahead in elections for president.
Dawn brought Felipe Calderon, candidate of the ruling National Action Party, a tight, but definitive lead. By late afternoon, the count was complete. Calderon had 35.8 percent of the vote; Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador 35.3 percent, separated by just 236,000 votes, out of more than 41 million votes cast.
Only yesterday, the count pointed to victory for Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the left.
ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, Mexican Presidential Candidate (through translator): The people do not accept the result. We are going to the federal electoral tribunal, under the terms established by law. We have four days. We are going to formally challenge the process and all of its elements.
Lopez Obrador has promised to fight, saying he will take his election challenge to court, which is his option under Mexican electoral law. And he has urged his supporters to fill Mexico's main square on Saturday.